Spotify started selling its “Car Thing” car audio player to anyone with a Spotify Premium account earlier this year. The company is already giving up on the idea, but now you can get a Car Thing for less money.
Car Thing is an audio receiver and player intended for playing Spotify music in cars. It has a custom “Hey Spotify” voice control feature, along with a large touch screen and turning dial. Car Thing requires a connected smartphone, so it’s not an independent head unit with its own data connection, but it can be helpful for cars that don’t already have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
However, Spotify revealed during today’s quarterly earnings report that it is no longer manufacturing Car Thing. The company said, “the goal of Spotify’s Car Thing exploration was to better understand in-car listening, and bring audio to a wider range of users and vehicles,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units. Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has unlocked helpful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio.”
The good news is that the Car Thing is currently discounted to $49.99, which is $40 less than the original price. Spotify says the accessory will continue to work after it sells out, but the company didn’t mention how long it will remain supported — you could have a bricked Car Thing in one year or eight years.
Back in April, Spotify updated Car Thing to function more like a general-purpose audio receiver. Incoming phone calls now appear on the device, with the option to answer or dismiss them on the touch screen. It can also now play any audio from a connected smartphone, not just Spotify content, making it a bit more like a regular Bluetooth audio receiver or Amazon Echo Auto.